The article discusses the use of self-contained interactive, self-paced courseware for teaching quantitative methods to business and soft science students. The courseware can be created in Excel workbooks by interlacing text with embeddable interactive tools in a way that provides continuous binding of theory and exercise. When the workbooks are built around certain types of tools, a best courseware is created for learners who are non-quantitative. Exemplary Excel workbook chapters which have been created and used for teaching linear programming to business students are used to illustrate the special types of tool required for best courseware. Examples are given of interesting subjects ripe for treatment with quantitative interactive workbooks. Best practices for using interactive workbook courseware are discussed. The article concludes with a brief account of statistical studies relative to the efficacy of computer assisted instruction, and a study using the author’s workbooks is outlined and proposed. Within the article a good sized exposition of linear programming courseware is presented. Chapter1i.xls, consisting of 28 worksheets, is downloadable and can be used for a course. Custom worksheets are constructable within its framework, so instructors can also use it as a starting point for creating their own variation of the courseware.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dan_duport/1/